To the Editor:

I am a frustrated Grant County taxpayer.

On Sept. 25, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Morrow County Sheriff Ken Matlack and our own Sheriff Glenn Palmer would be off to Washington, D.C., that week. The trip was being paid for by The Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti-immigration group, so that they can attend a press conference titled “Badges and Angels” together with relatives of people killed by undocumented immigrants.

However, in an OPB interview, Sheriff Palmer states that in the two decades he has been sheriff there has never been a non-citizen booked into the Grant County Jail. Obviously, crimes committed by illegal immigrants are not a big issue for us in Grant County.

We can all agree that the sheriff is entitled to his political opinions, whether we agree with him or not. Many in this County strongly support “Glenn” because they see him as representing their values and politics, which is, of course, the way politics work. But we should all keep in mind that the job also requires a full-time focus on the real basics of the job: keeping citizens safe and not wasting taxpayer dollars. I just wish he would prioritize his job.

Time spent hiring higher-quality deputies that can manage to stay out of jail themselves would be a good start. As a taxpayer I don’t appreciate paying for deputies on administrative leave, and we have already had two on leave just this year. Nor do I appreciate having to pay to defend the sheriff’s own ethics complaints.

Meanwhile, the Blue Mountain Eagle reports that County Commissioners Palmer and Hamsher just went to Washington, D.C., to lobby for rural funding vitally important to Grant County. Actually representing our interests! Now that is what we want. Thank you!

Glenn Palmer spends too much of his time grandstanding on issues that are not very important locally, like this Washington, D.C., trip, and doing things like quitting one day and changing his mind the next, meanwhile regularly providing entertainment for the whole state. Is having a sheriff who just comes to work and does his job too much to ask?

Jim Kelly


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